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Thread: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

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    Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners
    By Chase Goodbread
    College Football 24/7 writer
    Published: Jan. 3, 2014 at 01:53 a.m.

    Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio gave NFL scouts something to remember Thursday night in the Sugar Bowl, but it's something he'd rather forget.

    The Crimson Tide's key pass protector played one of the worst games of his career in a 45-31 loss to Oklahoma, allowing heavy pass pressure get to senior quarterback AJ McCarron, who was sacked a career-high seven times. Kouandjio was assigned for much of the night to block sophomore linebacker Eric Striker, who weighs just 220 pounds, but was the Sooners' star of the game defensively with three sacks. He beat Kouandjio with speed around the outside of the pocket, and his final sack caused a McCarron fumble which dashed any chance of a UA comeback with under a minute to play.

    Kouandjio also committed a false start which helped lead to a punt early in the third quarter. To his credit, he apparently stood tall when questioned after the game about his performance.

    Kouandjio is considered among the top tackle prospects for the NFL draft, and the junior is considering early entry. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15. Earlier in the week, Kouandjio attributed his early-season struggles to focusing too much on his draft status. Kouandjio appeared to have that issue solved, playing much more consistently over the latter part of the season.

    On Thursday, however, his focus looked to be anywhere but the Superdome. And he knew it:

    Quote Originally Posted by @Andrew_Gribble
    Cyrus Kouandjio apologized to Alabama fans for his performance. "It's not going to break me," he said.
    The NFL Draft Advisory Board feedback Kouandjio will receive, which gives all underclassmen considering early entry a rough idea of where they could be drafted, was most likely already sent to him before he took the field against OU. If it provides him with a first-round projection, UA coach Nick Saban will encourage him to enter the draft, as he does with all players projected to be chosen in the first round.

    If the Sugar Bowl was any indication, however, Kouandjio could use another year of college seasoning.
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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    On some level, this does not surprise me. I've read a number of questionable reviews on Kouandjio this year. At this point, I'd say there are at least 4 OTs (Matthews, Lewan, Robinson, Erving) who I'd rank ahead of him.

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Didn't see him on the Rams radar anyway. They will almost surely get their tackle with that first pick anyway. Plus, Robinson and Lewan are probably going before Kouandjio, who I have going in the 20s.

    The fact that there are some great tackle prospects early makes it easiler for the Rams to trade down, confident that a team won't deal a bunch to get Matthews when they can just get one of those other two.

    I just think the Atlanta connection with Snead, who dealt down with them last year to help them get a guy they thought they needed badly, is just too obvious to ignore.

    Atlanta is the one top 6 team who would take Matthews over the guys available at bigger needs, especially QB and DE. By letting them get up for Clowney, it's a pretty sure bet that Matthews is still there at #6.

    The Jags need a QB and drafted an OT last year #2 overall. Bortles seems a great fit
    Cleveland has Joe Thomas, and WILL take a QB, or surprise with A. Barr -DE/LB, However, if they hire Josh McDaniels, a guy who wanted a mobile QB in Tim Tebow, a fiery guy to lead his team, might find Manziel too hard to pass up.

    The Buccanneers are good at OT, and with Lovie Smith in place long term, will either take a QB, or will go for a pass rusher like Barr or impact LB like Mosley.

    Then the Rams still get Matthews, and pick up Atlanta's #1 in 2015 and their #2 this year, PLUS other picks, probably their #2 in 2015 as well.

    I think Minnesota will stand pat at #8, knowing that Hundley, Carr or another top QB (McCarron?)will fall to them.

    It all seems to fit somehow, and it all works well for the Rams, that's for sure.

    The better Clowney looks, the more picks the Rams can get. I hope he looks like superman .
    Barry Waller

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Waller View Post
    Didn't see him on the Rams radar anyway. They will almost surely get their tackle with that first pick anyway. Plus, Robinson and Lewan are probably going before Kouandjio, who I have going in the 20s.

    The fact that there are some great tackle prospects early makes it easiler for the Rams to trade down, confident that a team won't deal a bunch to get Matthews when they can just get one of those other two.

    I just think the Atlanta connection with Snead, who dealt down with them last year to help them get a guy they thought they needed badly, is just too obvious to ignore.

    Atlanta is the one top 6 team who would take Matthews over the guys available at bigger needs, especially QB and DE. By letting them get up for Clowney, it's a pretty sure bet that Matthews is still there at #6.

    The Jags need a QB and drafted an OT last year #2 overall. Bortles seems a great fit
    Cleveland has Joe Thomas, and WILL take a QB, or surprise with A. Barr -DE/LB, However, if they hire Josh McDaniels, a guy who wanted a mobile QB in Tim Tebow, a fiery guy to lead his team, might find Manziel too hard to pass up.

    The Buccanneers are good at OT, and with Lovie Smith in place long term, will either take a QB, or will go for a pass rusher like Barr or impact LB like Mosley.

    Then the Rams still get Matthews, and pick up Atlanta's #1 in 2015 and their #2 this year, PLUS other picks, probably their #2 in 2015 as well.

    I think Minnesota will stand pat at #8, knowing that Hundley, Carr or another top QB (McCarron?)will fall to them.

    It all seems to fit somehow, and it all works well for the Rams, that's for sure.

    The better Clowney looks, the more picks the Rams can get. I hope he looks like superman .
    The problem I think we have is if the Texans decide to trade down with Atlanta or take Clowney themselves.

    Then we'd need someone to be enamored with Bridgewater, assuming he's still the number one QB when the draft rolls around.

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    The Texans owner says they are willing to trade out of #1. We'll see if they have any suitors. But overall that's a bad thing for the Rams trading down.

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Isn't every team willing to trade down if the price is right?

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    On some level, this does not surprise me. I've read a number of questionable reviews on Kouandjio this year. At this point, I'd say there are at least 4 OTs (Matthews, Lewan, Robinson, Erving) who I'd rank ahead of him.
    He started off with some struggles this year, but as the season went on, things improved. I believe I read somewhere that Alabama allowed only three total sacks in the final eight games of the season, but I might have misread.

    Anyways, I'd put Matthews and Robinson ahead of him at this point, definitely. However, I think Kouandjio is right there battling Lewan for the #3 spot on my rankings. This performance didn't help, but I'm not going to overreact to it, either. I'd like to see how he looks in individual testing, as I think a performance like this makes you want to double check his lateral agility and quickness to handle the edge as an NFL LT.

    Still, there's something to say about a guy who, in 2012, started for Alabama as a sophomore at left tackle while future Top 12 pick D.J. Fluker manned the other side. I think Kouandjio is the kind of guy that the Rams could look at in a trade down scenario, and would really benefit from perhaps coming in and starting off at left guard while he improves his game to the point where he could eventually replace Long at LT.

    To a degree, I think Robinson would benefit from that kind of plan as well.

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    Re: Cyrus Kouandjio struggled against Sooners

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I believe I read somewhere that Alabama allowed only three total sacks in the final eight games of the season, but I might have misread.
    They had given only 10 sacks going into the Sugar Bowl. They gave up 7 last night. The fact that Striker only had 3.5 sacks going into the game amazes me. He's established himself as a great weapon for us this season, and Mike Stoops tends to pull something special out for the bowl games. Striker would have left any OT this year with their hands full, but Kouandjio got pretty thoroughly dominated. I'd be happy to grab with our 2nd, but not our first. He needs another year at Alabama, and I bet he'll realize that.

    Part of the reason Striker seemed like he had more sacks was that he had a handful of great hits on the quarterback. One of them popped the ball in the air against ND that got returned for a TD, and the other one is this:

    Oklahoma LB Eric Striker Flips Texas QB Case McCoy with Monster Hit | Bleacher Report

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